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COP26 – What Were the Key Outcomes?

COP26 – What Were the Key Outcomes?

COP26 has been all over the news in the past couple of weeks, as world leaders from across the globe gathered in Glasgow in the UK with the aim of tackling global warming and bringing climate change under control.

On the last day of the two-week long summit, an agreement had finally been reached by the world leaders, labelled as the Glasgow Climate Pact. This pact, signed off by 197 countries, asks nations to adjust their future plans on how they can reduce their emissions efficiently, with plans of solidifying dedicated targets for 2030, by the conclusion of 2022.

However, there were a number of other significant agreements that were made. We look at 5 of the other significant agreements that were reached during the summit.

U.S. and China

One of the more surprising agreements to come from the summit involved the United States and China, with both signing a joint declaration pledging to cooperate on climate-related issues during the next decade.

The agreement committed both to “enhanced climate actions that raise ambition”. A variety of issues were discussed and agreed upon such as de-carbonization and methane emissions.

U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, outlined that it was “imperative to cooperate”, while Xie Zhenhua, China’s top negotiator, stated that there was “more agreement between China and the U.S. than divergence”.

Renowned for being two of the biggest polluters in the world, pledging to cooperate is certainly a step in the right direction.

Coal and Fossil Fuels

In excess of 40 countries, which include Poland, Chile and Vietnam, have pledged to “accelerate efforts towards the phase down of unabated coal power” and quicken the disposal of “inefficient fossil fuel subsidies”.

Globalized nations have stated that they will gradually dispose of coal during the 2030s while poorer and less developed countries have pledged to phase coal out during the 2040s.

This agreement indicates the first time in history where fossil fuels have been explicitly mentioned in a UN climate agreement.

Coal is known for being the single largest contributor to climate change. Despite there already being reductions regarding use, it has still been in significant use during recent years. In 2019, coal produced approximately 37% of the world’s electricity.

Despite the number of nations signing up to this agreement, some of the world’s biggest users including the U.S. China and India, have not engaged with the agreement.


A significant number of financial organizations have agreed to back “clean” technology which includes renewable energy and divert the money out of reach from industries relying on fossil fuels.

The agreement, signed up by 450 organizations who control approximately 40% of the world assets, also states 2050 net-zero goals, such as limiting the rise of global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

In addition, five countries, including the U.S., as well as a number of global charities have pledged $1.7bn to support indigenous people’s conservation of forests and also solidify their land rights.

While others, such as Scotland, have promised £1m ($1.3m) to support those who have suffered from climate-related disasters.


Leaders from over 100 countries that represent around 85% of the world’s forests, including Canada, Brazil, Russia and Columbia, have pledged to end deforestation by 2030.

This is key towards tackling climate change as trees can absorb carbon dioxide, one of the key greenhouse gases which add to global warming. Therefore, putting an end to deforestation will become a key strategy.

Jair Bolsonaro, the president of Brazil, said: “Forests are important to me because they cover more than 60% of my country.”

“We are committed to eliminating illegal deforestation by 2030,” he continued.


The U.S. and the EU have begun and initiative to reduce current methane emissions by 2030. The agreement, signed by a total of more than 100 countries, aims to cut these emissions by 30%.

Methane is a prominent greenhouse gas and at present, it is accountable for a third of global warming that is generated by humans. Processes such as the disposal of waste and cattle production are a big part of the emissions.

Despite a large number of countries signing up the agreement, significant emitters such as Russia, China and India have not signed up, however it is desired that they will join the agreement in due course.

SEE ALSO: U.S. Borders Finally Reopen After 20-Month Ban

Study: Loss of Historical Lands Make Native Americans Vulnerable to Climate Change

Study: Loss of Historical Lands Make Native Americans Vulnerable to Climate Change

A study led by researchers at the Yale School of the Environment have found that indigenous nations throughout the United States have lost approximately 99% of their historical land base over time. It was also found that tribes were displaced to areas that are currently more exposed to the risks and hazards that come from climate change.

Professor Justin Farrell at the Yale School of the Environment, who led the study, said: “When we think about how to address climate change, we sometimes forget that past U.S. policies and actions have led to conditions in which some groups are burdened more by climate change than others.”

To view the full story, click here to visit the Yale News website.

SEE ALSO: Study: SARS-CoV-2 Virus Can Infect Inner Ear

capitalist peace

Help Shape a Post-Trump World Order

Pardon me, but can you lend a little sovereignty to help prevent the coming world war and major climate disaster?

Everyone is born sovereign. Nations may be independent, but they are no more sovereign than Kings. We, the people, lend our sovereignty to various levels of government to solve our common problems. In return, we demand representation, checks, and balances to secure our unalienable rights and prevent tyranny.

Today, citizens from all nations are facing an entangling web of socioeconomic and environmental problems that we must solve together.

  • NATO—alongside EU—enlargement at the expense of Russia has rekindled Cold War tensions.
  • Russia and China are rapidly forming a new economic bloc to counter the Western economic order.
  • Brexit threatens to erode the pacifying effects of the European Union and will likely undermine Atlantic unity.
  • Attempts to create a democratic peace in the greater Middle East has spawned forever wars and caused a major humanitarian crisis that encourages unsustainable levels of migration.
  • Multinational corporations (MNCs) continue to take advantage of workers at home and abroad who lack socioeconomic mobility. It’s a form of neoslavery.
  • Developing nations keep their wage, labor, and environmental standards artificially low to attract foreign investment. It fuels economic inequality and climate change.

Working together, we can find solutions to the above problems using the citizens’ convention approach.

In January of 1962, an Atlantic Convention composed of representative citizens from NATO nations was held in Paris, France. Citizen delegations explored evolutionary ways to enhance and strengthen the Atlantic Community. They drafted the Declaration of Paris and encouraged their respective governments to establish a supranational Atlantic union.

On July 4, 1962, speaking at Independence Hall, President John F. Kennedy had the courage speak truth to nationalistic power:

“Acting on our own, by ourselves, we cannot establish justice throughout the world; we cannot insure its domestic tranquility, or provide for its common defense, or promote its general welfare, or secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. But joined with other free nations, we can do all this and more. We can assist the developing nations to throw off the yoke of poverty. We can balance our worldwide trade and payments at the highest possible level of growth. We can mount a deterrent powerful enough to deter any aggression. And ultimately we can help to achieve a world of law and free choice, banishing the world of war and coercion.” 

Truth be told, President Kennedy was inspired by the vision of Clarence K. Streit, author of Union Now (1939).

From 1949 to 1980, Members of Congress attempted to transform NATO into an Atlantic Union using the same convention approach used by our Founding Fathers in 1787 to draft the Constitution. Advanced by Streit and the Atlantic Union Committee, this proposed transatlantic union was designed to gradually evolve into a world federation. If successful, they would have created one transatlantic nation out of many with the promise of extending liberty, prosperity, and justice for all in a peaceful, yet deliberate, manner.

It is time to revisit and reshape the Atlantic Union idea of the past to meet the needs of the future.

Let’s take a giant leap of faith and hold an online Capitalist Peace Exploratory Convention modeled after the Atlantic Convention of 1962. This time, economists from around the world should meet and explore ways to replace globalization with a world federal trade system based on sustainable capitalism.

We can prevent the coming world war; avoid a major climate disaster; lift billions out of poverty; and meet growing demands for new social programs if we establish a capitalist world federation that works for all citizens in all nations.

Americans must show the world that we are ready to lend a little sovereignty and demand representation, checks, and balances on an international scale. World trade should serve individuals—not nations or MNCs.

Capitalist Peace

If you are looking for a purpose, join the Capitalist Peace Committee.  

We need volunteers from all academic disciplines to join our emerging online research and political action committee. It’s time to prepare for a post-Trump world order.

Your new adventure starts by visiting capitalistpeace.com.


The Amazon Rainforest is on Fire: Here’s What You Need to Know

The Amazon rainforest has been burning at a record rate, and—is it just me?—we only found out about it yesterday on Instagram. For some reason, the shockingly large blaze has been left out of the mainstream media and discussions about global warming this summer. Here’s everything you need to know about the fire and how you can help.

State of emergency

Brazil declared a state of emergency over the rising number of fires in the region earlier this month. So far this year, almost 73,000 fires have been detected in Brazil—an 83 percent increase from 2018 and the highest number on record since 2013.


The fires are largely linked to people clearing out the land for farming or ranching, specifically for cattle to meet the world’s demand for beef. However, it’s made possible this year by the dry conditions. The Amazon rainforest is typically wet and humid; however, this year it’s been warmer and drier than usual.

How big is the fire?

You can see the smoke from space. The European Union Earth Observation Program’s Sentinel satellites captures images of “significant amounts of smoke” over the Amazon. And the skies darkened over San Paulo, Brazil, on Monday afternoon after winds carried smoke from about 1,700 miles away.

What is the impact?

Effects of damage to the Amazon go far beyond Brazil and its neighbors. The area’s rainforest generates more than 20 percent of the world’s oxygen and 10 percent of the world’s known biodiversity. The Amazon is referred to as “the lungs of the planet” and plays a major role in regulating the climate. The world would drastically change if the rainforest were to disappear, impacting everything from farming to the water we drink.

What can be done?

If you’re a bystander, watching images of the devastation fill your social media feeds and wondering what you can do to help, there are a number of organisations doing work to save the rainforest.

  • Donate to Rainforest Action Network to protect an acre of the Amazonian rainforest.
  • Donate to the Rainforest Trust to help buy land in the rainforest. Since 1988, the organization has saved over 23 million acres and counting.
  • Donate to Amazon Watch, an organization that protects the rainforest, defends indigenous rights and works to address climate change.
  • Donate to the Amazon Conservation Team, which works to fight climate change, protect the Amazon and empower indigenous peoples.

Consider changing your search engine to Ecosia.org, which plants a tree for every 45 searches you run. Also consider cutting back on or completely eliminating beef from your diet, which will impact the companies that have been setting the fires.

See also: University of Alaska Prepares for Budget Slash from Which It May “Never Recover”
Are Millenials Really Having Fewer Kids?
Dogs Reduce Student Stress, Study Finds

Are Millenials Really Having Fewer Kids?

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the patron saint of millennial representation, put a voice to modern-day fears back in March when she suggested that some young Americans are concerned about having children because of the threat that climate change could post to future generations.

“Our planet is going to hit disaster if we don’t turn this ship around … there’s scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be very difficult,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Instagram Live. “And even if you don’t have kids, there are still children here in the world, and we have a moral obligation to leave a better world for them.”

Those thoughts were echoed again this week, this time by Prince Harry in an interview with the renowned anthropologist Jane Goodall. In the conversation for British Vogue, the Duke of Sussex said that he and Meghan would have “two maximum!” when discussing how many children the royal couple planned on having. The question came about when Harry and Goodall were talking about the environmental deterioration of the planet.

A trend

A poll by Business Insider found that nearly 30 percent of Americans agree that a couple should consider the negative and potentially life-threatening effects of climate change when deciding whether or not to have children. The same poll found that roughly 40 percent disagreed with environmental considerations when it comes to family planning, and the remainder of respondents had no opinion.

The study wasn’t perfect, it was conducted over SurveyMonkey Audience by the publication, suggesting that everyone who participated opted in of their own accord. However, it reveals some interesting trends in the thinking about climate change and living a happy life.

Perhaps not surprisingly, it revealed a correlation between age and consideration of the environment. Young people are much more likely to take climate change into account when deciding whether to have children or how many, and older Americans were less likely to agree.

Notably, almost half of respondents older than 60 said the environment should not be a factor in the decision to have kids. Of course, the over-60 population aren’t having any more kids, but are likely pressuring their own children for grandchildren.

It remains to be seen how this current trend in thinking about the population will affect us. A CDC report showed that the birth rate in the US fell to its lowest level in the last 32 years in 2018.

After Harry told Goodall his offspring would be a maximum of two, he said that he always thought the planet was “borrowed,” and that as evolved as humans are supposed to be, “we should be able to leave something better behind for the next generation.”

See also: Gulf of Mexico Could Experience Record-Breaking “Dead Zone”
Hurricane Florence vs. the Carolinas
Why Are Eco-friendly Choices for Our Environment Important?

Five Books About Climate Change You Need to Read Now

Five Books About Climate Change You Need to Read Now

Whether you’re an eco-activist or not, it’s impossible to ignore the debate that has followed the most recent international climate report and a devastating slew of natural disasters.

Global warming should be a reality, not a controversy. If average global temperatures exceed just half a degree, the risk for major natural disasters will significantly increase.

If you want to understand the real facts behind the figures, put your energy into reading these five powerful books that promote awareness about climate change.

Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore, Elizabeth Rush

This poetic report about how rising sea levels are affecting American shorelines is compelling, relevant and accessible. The reality is that coastlines are disappearing and salt is causing devastation to essential habitats and those who live alongside them. Rush doesn’t just share her own personal discovery of the urgency of climate change, but interviews the experts and gives voices to the survivors of ravaged coastal communities all over the country. 

The Whale and the Supercomputer: On the Northern Front of Climate Change, Charles Wohlforth

This fascinating text about climate change as it is seen in Northern Alaska is packed full of science that, while not oversimplified, is accessible and stimulating. In the far North, these issues and fears are no longer an abstract idea, but a reality that has drastically altered daily life. Wohlforth follows both a traditional Eskimo whale-hunting party as they race to shore near Barrow and a team of scientists on a quest to understand the snow. These different but intertwined groups must work out how best to survive while navigating the issue that is now bearing down upon us all.

The City Where We Once Lived, Eric Barnes

If you’re working up the courage to embrace hard-hitting non-fiction texts, Barnes’ dystopian novel will still pack a pretty loaded punch when it comes to the issue of climate change. In a near (and foreseeable) future, climate change has caused the crumbling North End of an unknown city to be abandoned by all but the scavengers, who are attempting to bury their memories of what was lost. Like the topic it discusses, this haunting story is purposefully an exhausting and depressing read, but it is also a rewarding one; one that forces you to look sharply at yourself and at humanity. 

The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable, Amitav Ghosh

In his first major work of non-fiction, acclaimed Indian novelist Ghosh asks: “Are we deranged?” Certainly, we seem unable to grasp the sheer threat of climate change, and even more incapable of preventing it thus far. This literary text moves the conversation away from science and towards culture, politics and ethics, begging the reader to recognize the problem in being so unwilling to protect the future of life on Earth. The eerie relevance of this narrative realises the critical need to think about the unthinkable.

Below Freezing: Elegy for the Melting Planet, Donald Anderson

This ‘collage’ of ‘scientific fact, newspaper reports and excerpts from novels, short stories, nonfiction, history, creative nonfiction and poetry’, is both absorbing and informative. Anderson tackles the beauty and dangers of the cold, as well as the alarming rate at which our planet is warming in a meditated way that feels as serene as the conditions it explores.

Further reading: 12 Years to Halt Climate Change Catastrophe, Warns UN

Climate Change

12 Years to Halt Climate Change Catastrophe, Warns UN

A landmark report published on Monday by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that dramatic measures must be taken to keep global warming temperatures at a maximum of 1.5C within 12 years.

If global warming temperatures exceed just half a degree, the risk for major natural disasters such as floods, droughts and extreme heat will significantly increase. Maintaining 1.5C is essential in preventing the extinction of coral reefs, and will ease pressure on an already buckling Arctic, say researchers.

The world currently sits at 1C warmer than preindustrial levels. The IPCC sates that, with an increase in hurricanes in the Carolinas, flooding and record drought in South Africa’s Cape Town, global warming is already a very real threat. The study says that maintaining the 1.5C target will mean “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.”

Debra Roberts, co-chair of the IPCC’s working group on impacts said, “It’s a line in the sand and what it says to our species is that this is the moment and we must act now.

“This is the largest clarion bell from the science community and I hope it mobilises people and dents the mood of complacency.”

The report was commissioned by policymakers at the Paris Climate talks in 2016. The Paris Climate Agreement is an important agreement between member countries of the UNFCCC to combat climate change. Since then, however, president Donald Trump has pledged to withdraw the US from the Accord while Jair Bolsonaro—presidential candidate in Brazil—has pledged to follow suit, worryingly widening the gap between politics and science.

What’s next for climate change?

If global warming temperatures reach even 2C, the IPCC suggests that the global sea level will rise by approximately four inches, potentially exposing 10 million people to the risk of flooding.

Kaisa Kosonen at Greenpeace said, “We are already in the danger zone at one degree of warming.

“Both poles are melting at an accelerated rate; ancient trees that have been there for hundreds of years are suddenly dying; and the summer we’ve just experienced—basically, the whole world was on fire.”

Member of the IPCC, professor Jim Skea, said of the urgency of combatting climate change that, “They [world governments] really need to start work immediately. The report is clear that if governments just fulfil the pledges they made in the Paris agreement for 2030, it is not good enough.”

Further reading: Climate Change Fears as Arctic temperature Rises

Arctic Temperature Rise

Climate Change Fears as Arctic Temperature Rises

The Arctic experienced record warmth this month after a major heatwave. It is yet to be determined as a freak occurrence, yet climate experts warn that the Arctic temperature rise is unprecedented.

The primary concern among scientists is that global warming is damaging and eroding the polar vortex—winds that insulate the north pole.

“This is an anomaly among anomalies,” said Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University. “It is far enough outside the historical range that it is worrying—it is a suggestion that there are further surprises in store as we continue to poke the angry beast that is our climate.

“The Arctic has always been regarded as a bellwether because of the vicious circle that amplify human—caused warming in that particular region. And it is sending out a clear warning.”

Ruth Mottram of the Danish Meteorological Institute said “Spikes in temperature are part of the normal weather patterns—what is unusual about this event is that it has persisted for so long and that it has been so warm.

“Going back to the late 1950s at least we have never seen such high temperatures in the high Arctic.”

While it is normal for temperatures to fluctuate in the Arctic north as a result of the strength or weakness of the polar vortex that works to deflect warm air to keep the region cool, the recent heat peaks that the area has been experiencing have been lasting longer and longer.

Robert Rohde, lead scientist at Berkeley Earth, said “In 50 years of Arctic reconstructions, the current warming event is both the most intense and one of the longest-lived warming events ever observed during winter.”